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Mall closing’s impact tough to measure

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MASSENA — Officials with St. Lawrence Centre say the impact of the weekend storm, which forced the mall to close early on Saturday and remain closed all day on Sunday, will be tough to measure.

As he sat on a bench inside the crowded shopping center Monday afternoon, Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode said it’s hard to tell if the mall was busier Monday because of the closings this past weekend.

“Today and tomorrow would have been busy anyway,” he said. “When you lose a day and a half of business, it’s hard to recoup that.”

And while Mr. Patnode said the decision to close the mall wasn’t an easy one to make, he said he knows that it is one that had to be made.

“The decision to close the mall is always a difficult one,” he said. “It’s not a good time to close.”

Decisions by government officials at the county level made the decision a bit easier.

“With the fact that we were in a state of emergency and there was a travel ban in place, it wasn’t worth it for the safety of our customers or employees to stay open,” he said.

Mr. Patnode said when the travel ban was lifted Sunday evening, he knew it would be OK to open the mall on Monday for its regular holiday hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The mall will be open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Santa available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I think we’ll be busy all through 10 p.m. tonight and all day tomorrow,” Mr. Patnode said.

“Sears stayed open for emergency purposes such as the sale of generators, shovels, salt, snow blowers and other snow removal equipment,” he said. “It’s Sears, that’s what they do.”

As for the timing of the storm, Mr. Patnode said there isn’t much anyone can do about that.

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